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Public Roads and Private Interests: An Inquiry into the Erosion of Public Goods

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Type: Working Paper
Author: Oakerson, Ronald J.
Date: 1973
Agency: Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN Series:Workshop Working Paper, W73-4
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/3764
Sector: New Commons
Region: North America
Subject(s): Workshop
public goods and bads
public service
institutional analysis
nontraditional common pool resources
Abstract: "The purpose of this essay is to set up a problem and pose a question. The problem will be characterized as the erosion of public goods, and the question will be directed at specifying (a) the conditions of institutional failure which lead to the erosion of public goods and (b) possible institutional remedies. The paper will focus empirically upon the decision making dynamics of a situation, still unresolved, surrounding the provision of public roads in the Cumberland Mountain coal region of Eastern Kentucky. The analysis will build upon a foundation initially advanced by James Buchanan, in which he attributes a number of public deficiencies to legal and political weaknesses, leading up to the erosion (i.e., inefficient utilization) of public supplies, rather than to a fiscal weakness, in the sense of insufficient expenditure on public supplies. The plan of the essay is to shape this formal analysis to the Kentucky case, in order to clarify and extend the lessons of each."

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